We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Pew Should Not Control the Pulpit

Far too often the pew has controlled the pulpit, and great harm has come in the Church.  The Apostle warns Timothy that a time is coming when people “will not endure sound doctrine.” This is frequently the case at the present time, and has been so during this present [20th] century.  So it is important that every member of the Church should have a true conception of the Church and the office of the ministry in particular.

There are churches in the world today which appear on the surface to be very flourishing.  People crowd into them and they display much zeal and enthusiasm.  But on closer examination you will find that most of the time is taken up with music of various types, and with clubs and societies and social activities.  The service starts at 11 a.m. and must finish promptly at 12 noon.  There will be real trouble if it does not!  There is but a brief “address” of some quarter of an hour’s duration, twenty minutes as a maximum.  The unfortunate minister, if he does not see these things clearly, is afraid to go against the wishes of the majority, his livelihood depends upon church members, and the result is that everything is made to conform to the desires and wishes of the pew. . . . 

The history of the Church shows clearly that it is when the pew, the listeners, exert such powerful influence and when ministers lacking courage have been so bound, that the Word of God has not been truly preached and the Church has become dead and lifeless.  The pew does not dictate to the minister as to what he is to do.

But let me add that the minister also must not dictate.  it is the Lord Himself who determines, He who is seated at the right hand of God and who has given “some, apostles; some, prophets; some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.”  He has given them for the edification of the members of the Church, and it is His message that is to be preached without fear or favour.  We need to recapture something of the spirit of John Knox whose preaching caused Queen Mary of Scots to tremble.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Christian Unity: An Exposition of Ephesians 4:1-16,” pg.201-202


Anonymous said...

"But let me add that the minister also must not dictate." - I think in this day and age, LLoyd-Jones would need to spend more time on this statement, given the number of evangelical scandals, where big name ministers sin extensively, and those in the "pews" have been greatly harmed by abusive and controlling "pastors". All while the other "big name" ministers circle the wagons.

The truth is: the HOLY SPIRIT should control both pulpit and pew.

Might I also add, church services should probably be a whole lot more participatory than they are. 1 Cor 14


Anonymous said...

Most churches in our area are 'lord it over' types of business institutions with dominant pastors, leadership, and those who are important within their own eyes. I personally asked a woman board member at one time this question, "Do board members, deacons, and deaconesses, purposefully 'befriend' new families within the church to gather personal information from them, so they can go back and share that confidential information with their board members, prayer group meetings, and pastor(s) at meetings that can be used against these new attendees at a later date, when needed?" Her response was very interesting as she stated, "I cannot deny what you have asked to be false." I believe this is a corrupt practice and has no place in the Body of Christ, of which Jesus is supposed to be the Cornerstone, the Head, and the true Shepherd.

Her response did not shock me for the pastor's sermons were designed to "put people in their place," then attributing that to the work of the holy spirit. This, I know to be true, is NOT the work of the Holy Spirit, moving with congregations. This is the work of the enemy in destroying individuals and their marriages. And in these lord it over churches, there is a very high divorce rate amongst the congregants and much sexual perversion in the secret lives of leadership.

Be sober, for the devil walks around like a roaring lion seeking to devour even the elect.

Anonymous said...

Well, isn't the Holy Spirit testifying here, that the two comments are saying the same thing...